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Together with its suburbs and satellite towns, Lyon forms the second-largest metropolitan area in France after that of Paris, with a population estimated to be 1,783,400 in 2007. Its "urban region" (Région Urbaine de Lyon), represents half of the Rhône-Alpes région population with three million inhabitants. Lyon is also a major industrial center specialized in chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries. There is also a significant software industry with a particular focus on video games.
Lyon is the préfecture (capital) of the Rhône département, and also the capital of the Rhône-Alpes région. The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lyon was historically known as the silk capital of the world. It also hosts the international headquarters of Interpol and Euronews.